Patiala: The State Medical Education and Research Department has got into the act of saving the 50 MBBS seats earned by the Government Medical College (GMC), Patiala, for the year 2014-15, which have now been put up for cancellation by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
In an effort to make up for the faculty shortage, the department is holding departmental promotion committee (DPC) meetings and is also planning to go ahead with fresh recruitment in the coming month, hoping to save their seats from cancellation.
The college authorities have time and again been issued warnings regarding cancellation of seats due to faculty shortage from the MCI. With the college running on a 150 seat strength since 1969, increased to become a 200 in 2014, on the condition of annual inspections by the MCI, to ensure maintenance of standards, in accordance with seat strength.
However, the college failed on its part and the first MCI inspection in April 2015, saw the council recommending cancellation of the increased 50 seats, for various reasons; the primary being 13% faculty shortage. The college however, managed to save face by pleading to the authorities, which consented to the course being run, with increased number of seats.
The situation surprisingly worsened, despite promises made by the college authorities. The faculty strength went from bad to worse, the following year.
The explanation on the part of the college authorities for not having been able to strengthen faculty deployment was- delay in DPCs, non-availability of competent doctors, and some legal hitches.
If the government does not take immediate decisions, the current faculty shortage of 16.6 % is likely to go up to 35% by March 2017.
Requesting anonymity, a senior faculty professor said the shortage related to MBBS seats was at the senior resident, assistant professor and associate professors levels. The situation, he said could be improved through time bound promotions, since not many professors were required at the MBBS level as per the MCI stipulation.
Vikas Partap, Secretary, Medical Education, while conceding to the college grappling with the shortage of faculty for a long time, said the department was quickening pace of recruitment . He was optimistic about the Council reconsidering its cancellation decision.
“We held a DPC today. We are also planning to review another DPC which was conducted in June but had to be stalled due to some objections. Also, we have recently held interviews for super specialists and are planning to hold interviews for fresh recruitment soon,” he said.